Obama preps for party

Big Sky Tent, Nancy’s trucks seen pulling away from Turkeyland Cove.

Former President Barack Obama at Farm Neck Golf Club Thursday. — Nicolas Ruderman

Updated August 7

A day after former President Barack Obama turned 60, he could be seen pushing his golf clubs between holes at Farm Neck at around 4:30 pm on Thursday.

Obama is celebrating his birthday at his Edgartown estate Saturday. The outdoor event was originally planned to host more than 400 guests and 200 waitstaff, but was significantly downsized amid a growing number of COVID-19 cases locally and across the country.

The party’s guest list was expected to include celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, and George Clooney. It’s unclear who made the cut as a “close friend.”

The party will still feature several COVID protocols such as a COVID coordinator and require testing of attendees beforehand.

Photos from DailyMail.com showed trucks bearing logos of Martha’s Vineyard businesses Big Sky Tent and Party Rentals and Nancy’s Restaurant entering Turkeyland Cove Road on Tuesday.

On Twitter, Edgartown police wrote that the U.S. Secret Service announced a “no drone zone” restricted area due to “protective operations in Edgartown” from Saturday to Sunday.

Hannah Hankins, a spokesperson for the former president, told The Times in an email earlier this week that concerns about the spread of the Delta COVID variant prompted the significantly scaled back event, which will now include only family and close friends.

Town administrator James Hagerty said representatives of the former president are keeping the town informed about how they intend to keep guests safe.

“I am in touch with the COVID coordinator overseeing protocols for this outdoor event and have been briefed on their plans to comply with all CDC, state, and local guidance,” Hagerty told The Times in an email.


Updated with drone restriction. — Ed.


  1. Hope you’ll devote half as much attention to the precautions for public safety at the Ag Fair this year. So far, as far as I can tell, there are none– no mask requirements, no limits on crowd size, indoors or out. The fair is attended by tons of kids under 12, none of whom are vaccinated. I think you’ve gone as far as attention spans can go in covering this particular party.

    • But now I hear Larry David was uninvited. You left out the best part of the story—the part that interests my attention span, lol.

      • Hope you’re vaccinated, Axel. Would hate to see a Vineyard guy be one of those in an ICU bed with an oxygen tube, breathlessly issuing those famous last words: I shoulda listened to the experts.

    • Yup. I mentioned this a few days ago. And no offense, but do you think all the “carnies” will be vaccinated, as I expect Spielberg and Clooney to be?

  2. currently a lot of bass going on at Obama’s right now. sky is lightning up with spotlights. my poor children are being kept awake. children born on the island and being raised here while we work everyday. such a selfish act

    • Spare me. I’m from here, raised a child here..and lived to tell the tale! I bet their shrill, screeching laughter will be heard for miles around as soon as the fair comes around. POOR children, living in Katama, on the lovely (and, comparatively) SAFE island of Martha’s Vineyard. Near the ex-Prez. Hmm. Yes, sounds dreadful. How DARE anyone have FUN around those little darlings?? I’d throw a blanket down outside and let them watch! How cool!

    • I don’t mean to sound insensitive, but that seems like a kid’s dream come true. Extended bedtime in the summer? A chance to watch a cool light show? Maybe I’ve been stuck at home too much and am projecting. 🙂

    • Fame and fortune has gone to their heads. No regard for anyone but themselves. Me, me and only me. Just once, I would like to see one of the ex-prezs go visit a vets hospital and thank them for following their order and being injured because of it. Nope. Forgotten. Time to golf and party with celebs. Infantile.

      • FYI
        President Obama has visited the Walter Reed Military Hospital nearly two dozen times, trips that have affected him deeply and that have inspired the injured. … a former aide to Mr. Obama who accompanied him has reported.

        Nov 29, 2016

      • 11 pm and my house is still shaking from the bass. I heard a very nice rendition of “Happy Birthday” around 10 then the party kicked in. I can’t imagine how much money in public resources went into securing this party. Selfish.

        • Mike– My guess is that this private party, which of course required some gov money for security etc, was way less than one round of golf for trump.

  3. Joy and celebration of a milestone is not a selfish act. It’s summer on the Vineyard, it’s a birthday party. Outside on a warm summer night. Have you forgotten joy on a summer night? This is the President of the United States we’re talking about and, now an islander and, your neighbor.
    It’s the weekend, President Obama is having a birthday party to celebrate his 60th. They had to scale it way down on short notice and are doing their best to enjoy the occasion. Try a little neighborly kindness. It goes a long way. Love thy neighbor as thyself is a good and timeless adage. Life is hard for a lot of us. All the more reason to find reasons to celebrate… ourselves and others and mark those special occasions the way the Obama Family are tonight.

    • Start the “tracing” and tell the entire story-this party will be a spreader and the blame will fall at the Obamas feet. If this was “Barry’s” 60th what can we expect for Michelle’s? Not what “summer on the Vineyard is about”. Peace and quiet is what the Vineyard is about-isn’t that why the “ rich and famous” started to flock here? We live/and have lived on the Island four generations now. Came to live a quiet, simple, meaningful life away from the sycophants like the Obama crowd-but here we are, call someplace paradise kiss it goodbye. Thanks Bill and Hillary.

  4. Why a 60th birthday party?. Why not wait for an older significant age. Is he just showing of his NEW MV acquired property? He generates a lot of inconvenience on the roads. But it is good for local business income. Wonder what the covid-19 counts will look like after the party.

    • Probably about the same as after a trump rally. Or to keep it local, a Kate Taylor concert. Or a Beach Rd Weekend…

      • ^5, Jim. This party affected my life ZERO percent. (Well, I’m a bit bummed because I would have liked to have seen Eddie V., as we were friends back in the day, but…) That Mass cop who said traffic was a sh– show in Edg.? Welcome to August on the Vineyard. Wait til that Beach Road show next year, the last weekend before Labor Day. Obama’s in KATAMA. That insane thing is downtown VH. (Flip-flops optional!)

        • and PS–how many people were at the Beach Road “event” this year? I feel quite certain that it was over 5-700, and I also feel quite certain that most of that crowd were not masked, and I hate to think how many were un-vaccinated. But that was barely mentioned, because the Island gave PERMISSION for it, and of course, had to then stand by it. I will definitely be attending whatever meetings they have regarding the one next year (which has also been approved, although it is still more than a year from now).

        • I actually live on Turkeyland Cove Rd. The only time this thing affected me was coming home last night and having to stop at the top of the road to say hello to the two Edgartown cops and the two secret service guys. Took about 4 seconds.
          I don’t know where Mike Ack lives that the noise was so bad, because once I went in my house and closed the door, I didn’t hear a damn thing. Went to let the dog out around 9:30 and could hear some music, but it wasn’t shaking my house as Mike claims his was.

  5. Have you folks seen the MASSIVE tent on the Obama property. This party aint too scaled back after all. Oh the deniers will say its large to allow for spacing. I get it. I dont care a whit about his party but alot of folks are squirming the narrow walk between ideology and love.

    • I think you do give a whit Andy, or you wouldn’t have felt the need to comment on pretty much every article pertaining to this event. Or maybe you’re actually in Florida. Who knows?….

      • Donavan, I think he ought to have his party and I dont care. I just think its funny that there are no masks and jets flying everywhere and its scaled down. This should put an end to covid and climate change hysteria.

    • You don’t care a whit but post anyway. Are the 30,000 people going to Fenway Park tomorrow to see Zac Brown squirming with an ideology or love?

    • Andrew, I am guessing they rented a huge tent a while ago, before the need to scale back due to Delta, and still used it. As for how much it was downsized, who knows. I just hope we don’t see a boost in numbers from any of the recent crowds or those coming up.

    • The tent was erected before they scaled back on the plans.
      I know someone who worked at the party. They estimated the number of guests at around 40.

  6. Reply to Jessica Burnham comment
    Jessica, what do you think our father’s would say to the Obama- islander comment?! Haha!
    Thanks for your comment

  7. Snopes.com assures us that the Obamas scaled back attendance drastically.

    As usual, don’t believe your eyes. Trust Snopes.

  8. This post board is eeringly quiet even though we all now know that the party was maskless and was not too scaled back. The newspapers are full of photos. But I dont worry, the virus does not attack the ”sophisticated” and the covid coordinator waved her magic wand.

    • Not all the guests are sophisticated. I think Chrissy Teigen, a grown woman who bullies everyone and who taunted a teen about suicide, attended. I would’ve kept Larry David over her any day.

    • Andrew– Your comment is # 36 on this story. 36 comments does not classify as “erringly quiet”.
      The party was always going to be mask less. You infer that that fact was somehow kept from the public–It was not– And this mask less party was just like the Beach road concert, just like every bar with a crowded dance floor on Marth’s Vineyard, just like every movie theater , restaurant, sporting event and church. All masks optional, which few people do.
      Why are you not pleased that the best president in history is setting an example and showing us all how “free” we are and that we don’t have to wear a mask while doing something that some may view as foolish ?
      Everyone was vaccinated though, -and had to show proof of that – I’m sure that probably really bothers you.
      That just points out how smart these people are— you have to be a complete idiot at this point to not have been vaccinated if you are eligible and medically fit to receive it.

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